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The 79th Annual Academy Awards

By Heather B. Armstrong

The 79th Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday night, and as usual it was longer than a typical Mormon church meeting. How long is a typical Mormon church meeting, you ask? Well, depending on whether or not your mother is the choir director, and your father is the person who is responsible for unlocking the building, an average Sunday afternoon for a Mormon teenager could last four years. And the Oscars this year were longer than that.
I’ll be honest with you, the only reason I watched this year’s show was to see what Nicole Kidman was going to wear, because I knew who was going to win in each category, and how different can an acceptance speech be if you’ve already given it to the same group of people five times? I cannot remember a single acceptance speech, except maybe the one given by Martin Scorsese, and then only because he didn’t say anything about how the Academy must be a bunch of idiots, it is about damn time. Didn’t you want even a tiny bit for him to drop a few colorful words and maybe break out a semi-automatic? Or maybe throw George Lucas head-first off the stage? Instead, he was very polite and humble and totally ready to be folded up and put in your purse so that you could take him home and snuggle with him later. And then maybe use his eyebrows to towel off after a hot bath.
I was happy to see Alan Arkin win for his supporting role in Little Miss Sunshine, a movie I loved more than anything else I saw this year, if only because I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard out loud in a movie theater. Or the last time I had to physically put my hands over my husband’s mouth so that the rest of the audience wouldn’t be deafened by the sound of his hysterical laughter, a sound I would compare to the agonizing screams of a hippo that simultaneously has the hiccups and is throwing up the tree it ate for lunch. But Arkin’s win over front runner Eddie Murphy was the only real surprise of the night, and instead of giving a speech from the heart he read every word of his acceptance from a piece of paper. And there’s nothing wrong with being prepared, I understand why he did it, it was just so boring. I don’t know, I just wish there had been more blood.
I thought Nicole Kidman looked stunning, even with that monster bow on the back of her neck that looked like it might unhinge its jaw and swallow her head. She just has a hard time looking bad or flawed in any way, and I think the same thing about Jennifer Lopez, although I’m sure it helps to have a stylist and make-up artist and surgical professional on your staff. And here’s where I think the Oscars are at their most boring, especially this year, because almost no one is willing to take huge risks on this particular red carpet. Nicole Kidman’s risk was still just a bow. I longingly yearn for a more carefree time when a celebrity would step out of the limousine with a sick bird trying to seal off their trachea, or trying to balance large wicker patio furniture on their head, or counting on one hand the number of people who can keep a straight face when shaking their hand.

Heather B. Armstrong
About the Author

Heather B. Armstrong

Heather B. Armstrong was a regular contributor writing about pop culture for us at Dooce Plugs In. You can read her daily at her blog Dooce.


Heather B. Armstrong was a regular contributor writing about pop culture for us at Dooce Plugs In. You can read her daily at her blog Dooce.

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